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Us 19, Mars 9, Charlottesville 6, United States 3, Peter Carlson 3, Freedomfest 2, Albert Einstein 2, Bertram Russell 2, Lissa Warren 2, France 2, Washington 2, Florida 2, U.s. 2, America 2, Pharoah 1, Zieglar 1, Likeou 1, Steve Squires 1, Bryson 1, Nikita Khrhchev 1,
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    August 30, 2009
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because it seems unbearable. sometimes i feel like i am speaking the unspeakable. . .
>> from freedomfest to those nine in las vegas, it's taught by alender green, author o the secret of shelter island, "money and what matters." the event is 45 minutes.
[applause] >> thankou, and good morning. it is an honor to be here beckett freedomfest. this is my fourth yr here as a speaker and our conference organizer assures me he is going to keep having me back until i get it right so i look forward to many more years with you here at freedomfest. he asked me to speak about my new book, wch is e secret of shelter island, "money and what matters," and i am pleased to say that e book is currently on "the walltreetournal" business best-seller list but it is a b of an irony because there really is almost nothing about business or investment in the book, which those a the topics i usually write about. this is not a book about how to get rh. this is a book about how to be rich. now, if you are wondering what the difference is, that is exactly what i'm going to talk about the this morning so we will cover that in some detail. the book is essentially a collection of essays the road on
how to write, how to live a richer, more meaningful le. you might beg by thinking what makes my ideas on the subject so valuable? i am pleased to say to begin with they are not really my ideas for the most part. our species is have a couple of millennia to think about how best to live and the best ideas on the subject are not new. as ralph waldo emerson said 150 years ago, all my best thoughts were stolen by the insurance. what i've done in this book essentially arveyed many of the greatest thinkers ofll time, going back to aristotle,, confucious, marcus aurelius, going through history, thomas jefferson, albert einstein, bertram russell and to contemporaries writers today, and in fact severaluminaries who have been nurick freedomfest including charles murray and nathanial brandon and michael shermer and others in most of
these essays originally appeared in an e letter i reich called "spiritual wealth" and if you are interested in checking out you can go to spiritual the letters eak you want sign up. if you don't sm me or sell your e-mail-- e-mail names. but pele often ask me what you mean exactly by spiritual wealth? hewers the way i see it. everything in your life that you are gteful for that you can put a price tag on, your home, your cas, your bank account, your stock portfolio, your kelly go clubs, all those things i call material wealth and everything in your life that you appreciate that you can't put a price tag on, your health, your family, yo friends, your community, fly fishi, of looking at the stars at night, tching the sun set, all ose things i call spiritual wealt and their people in this world who are very rich materially but
impoverished spiritually and their peop who are very wealthy from a spiritual standpoint iou are impoverished material but to really live the most of both worlds you have to have a balance of material and spiritual. that leads to what i call a true wealth. a lot of people have asked me how i got started writing on this proct. it is a long ways from riding investment commenty, which is my day job. there were a number of reasons. quite frankly i was looking fo a new channel. for almost 25 years now, and got to the point where i felt like it right investment commentary in my sleep and in fact some of you who acted on a couple of my stock recommendations last year may have felt they did exactly that. but i got a kind of a friendly nudge or not so subtle nudge i should say at an investment conference in phoenix. this was the summer of 2007. weust experienced a roaring
five-year bull market. our portfolios were flush with prit and by letteras ranked in the t and does the letters by the independent financial digest and i just given a talk to a room fulof my subscribers and i was in the lobby. this o attendee buttonholed me and walked up to me ande said money, money, money. yohave made me a lot of money over the yea but let me ask you, do you ever think about anything else? at first i thought he was kidding but aegis stood there in front of me wide-eyed waiting for an answer and i remember thinking to myself, i wonder what i have ser dond that makes this guy think i am obsessed with money to the exclusion of everythilg else and then it dawled on me. i write seven columns a week on the financial markets come about interest rates, currencies, the stock market, hedge funds, takeover candidates, asset allocation and how to reduce your risk, avoid high costs, reduce your taxes and he was thinking i was obsessed with
money to the exclusion of everything else. of course i am not the kind of person who says money does not matter. i don't think that is realistic. i think we all knowhat money determines the kind neighborhood you living, the quality of the schools your children can go to come if you need a doctor can mean the difference between a good doctor and an amazing doctor. if you need a lawyer, it can be e difference between having an ambulance chaser and the best representation money can buy. money is freedom. it gives you choices because in my view no one is truly free who is a slave to his job, his overhead, hicreditors or his circumstances, and money is the most egalitarian force in society. think about it. the sematic you are older young, black or white, tall or short cong or straigh it doesn't matter what you are if you have money, you have power in the
best sense and money is fedom. if you have financial freedom you ca do what you want, where you nt and with whomou want and so i think theursuit of financial freedom is a worthy goal and i take my job as an instment analyst seriously because people are counti on mydvice. but as impornt as money is, it certainly isn't the most important thing in my book is abouthe pursuit othe good life, the search foreaning in what it means to be truly wealthy and so it actually consists of 60 essays on various topics. it is a whitman sampl of some of the topics talked about in the book. let me start with the state of the current economy. as we all know thisas been the worst economy since the great depression. gdp growth is negative, we are seeing 26 years of record unemployment and still losing half million jobs a month and credit is tight and business investment is down and so is personal spending d consumer
confidence is in the cellar and the housing market seems to be in aeath spiral, and the u.s. automakers are on their knees and the stock market just had its worst year since 1931. welcome to the great recession. i am not trying to be glib because there's a lot of pain and suffering out tre and there's nothing funny about losi your job or seeing your stock ptfolio get a serious serc fetter watching your 401(k) turning to a 201(k). but, to the extent that downturns like the current one calls us to, to the extent it shakes up the status quo agb causes us to reexamine our goals and that in itself can create enormous opportunities. opportunities to rlect about what you really have and one of the thgs i am going t do, i am going to convince you or certainly hope to convince you th by the end of my talk you are going to feel like one of the wealthiest people wh ever lived. you are one of the wealthiest people who hasver lived, what
do you know what are not. you are so fortunate that he make the powerball said-- look like second ze. you not-- may not feel that way but i'm going to do my best to convince you otherwise. i want to start up by talking about one of the things that got us into this economic slump and that is something that i call aslan super go affluence is a fires excluve society the causes people to overconsume and live beyond their meansnd that in tn leads to debt and anxiety and waste. causes stress and this dress les to stomachache and headaches and heart conditions and mild depression. it can shorten your stay on the right side of the daisies. i don't mean to soundike the national school. i know consumer activity is two-thirds of the econo and we are all libertarians year ago if someone really wants to devote his life to pursuing more and more, that is his right. but, i guess as johnaynard
keynes said better the man should tyrannize over hi bank balance than his fellow citizens and i'm not immune to the occasional bout of affleck-- affluenza myself. i can't walk by a bookstore or recordhop without being after words endeavor ymon the barnes & noble, the clerk asked me the same question, wou you like is to doublbag that for you? so we all have to consume to survive but the thing is madison avenue has become all pervasive. every they were bombarded with advertisements, newspaper, billboards, radio and television commercials blastin trumped up volumes and advertirs it that much more sophisticated. th have actually used mri scanners to map the human brain to find the pleasure centers and advertiss are now creating both procts and marketing that stimulates the produion of dopamine and it is that to the point where a psychologist routinely call with the talk about retail the the where
people sp to ward off boredom or the blues, whicis a ort-term fix because when the credit card bill comes then you will need more retail there be but it is normal to want to better our material conditions but the relentless quest for more ultately undermines ou quality of life. i think wall the scessful lives are built, not bought and and over consumptive lifestyle ultimate limits are choices. i think was bertram russell said it is preoccupation with positions more than anything else that presents-- prevents us from living freely in nobly and th fact of the matter is to many consumers were chasing a beleaguered image of success, trying so hard to keep up with the joneses. they had to have the flaes cars, five-bedroom mansion in a gated community, but you know if you can afford these things fine but if it is a grind in a struggle, if your kids are asking whe is dead, could it possibly be worth it? as the great philosopher bob
dylan said, what is success? ayman is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do. but you can't do that if you are working hard to pay for the things you have already bought and the truth of the matter is too many people are simply in too deep and i will give you a perfect example. a few mths ago i was playing golf with a friend happens to be an attorney and we are writijg in the card in he was telling h much he detested his job. he said you have to understd at i do. i read these gnats to letters o behalf of my clients and then we get nasty letters back and then i have to respond to their letter with another nasty letter and this will go on for a few weeks and then when my clients see how much they have run up in billable hours they start to get nasty with me in the whole business is just kind of nasty, so i said well, why don't you do something else? if you could have seen the look on his face he wld have thought i asked him, y don't
you stop briefings? he goes you don't understand, we have got too big cars, my wife and i take big trips and she runs up big bills. what am i going to do? i said i don't know but it sounds like a big mistake to me. bee the truth of the matter is he can't even imagine getting himself on the situation h is in in part because he can't afford the drop in moynd probably status at least temporarily in changing jobs would entail. the probm with this is, if the like these been doing what you love is entirely different and putting yourself out to bid to the highest bidder, the only wa you can say thatakes the difference is to save the life makes the difference and i fnd this out myself. i worked on wall street for 16 years and as most of you know i am sure that is the lrave field to be in. i happen to be in it a good time, but after 16 years i have grown bored with the industry. i love the financial markets. i will never get tired of the
financial rks but that is not what your job is. your job is to have conversations with their clients about their accounts day after day and it had gotten tds to me. i started thinking about leaving and when i talked to my colleagues they thought i absolutely lost my mind. one fellog came up to me and he goes, green, nobody gets t where you are in this busess with all of these clients and all these assets and all these these coming in and then just walks away. if you leave you are going to regret it for the rest of your life but i did leave and they didn't regret it for one minute because i was bored with what i was doi. i take a huge pay cut but i had been handcuffed to my machine and telephone for years and now i've is free to work from whereever it wanted and write about what i wanted. you can make a change like that even though entails less money and not feel you have done the rit thing. the question i say is look at the path you are on. does it in large you or domenici? if you feel like it diminishes you, could yo possibly be on
the right track? joseph campbell used to say follow your bliss. if you follow your bls you will find yourself on a track that has been waiting for you and t like should be living is the like you living, so i think we all have to experiment with their lives from time to time and take risks, and i think the british historian, art collingswood put it best. visa. frieden is resved forhe man who lives by his own work and the network does whti once to do. you can work a job, you can pursue a career however you can choose a vocation but and over consumptive lifestyle greatly limits those choices. speaking of consumption i'm going to me ton entirely different subject, which is eating. a few years ago and when i was in france and i bumped into one of my colleagues, a filmmaker and writerand he was telling me that he had an employee in his office would just come back from their first trip to t
united states, andy asd him, what was the biggest surprise? what was your biggest surprise in america? she turned to them and said i n't believe you eat in your cars. [laughter] we got a big chuckle out of ts becausen france, eating is a sacrament. even a short lunch has to have fresh bread, good wine and time enough to enjoy it but it is a very different thing than driving down the highway with a quarter pounder and fries in your lap, a soft drink large enough to have been under-- undertowloshing arod in the cup holders, her finrs so you don'get freeze on the wheel. i am cidding ocourse, we don't really eat this way, do we? get ready to grant. the american culinary institute in a study that found among ett 50-year-old, roughly one-fifth of all eating takes place in the car. significant percentage of t rest takes place in front of the tv. if that is the way that most of
my fellow amerins want to take their meals, of course that woult call them meals as much as eatin occasions but that is how we choose to take our nutritional inp, all i can say is viva la france, because well, i'm going tread you a bit frgm my book and you will know what i think. face it the french are smarter than us when it comes to leading. surveys show they rarely snack, they consume mt of their food at meals shared with others, they eat smaller portions that don't come backor seconds and the linkers spending more time eating then we do but these habits are put together and you have a food culture inhich the french consume fewer calories yet enjoy thefar more. in his book, in defense of food, michael pollen writes, we forget historically people levee ghaffari great many reasons other than biologicalecessity. food is also about pleasure, about community, about family in spirituality about their relationship to the natural
world and expressing our identity. as long as human civin taking meals together eating has been as much abo culture as it has been about biology. it is that the dinner table w socialize and civilize the children teaching them manners and the art of conversation. parents can determine portion sizes, model eating in drinking behavior and enforce social norms about greet, gladney and ways. the shared mill elevates eating from a mechanical process for fueling the body to a ritual of family and communityrom ar animal biology to an active culture. now, in the modern world agriculture and capitalism have succeeded almost too well. we have more food, the more affordable prices than ever before and we forget that throughout most of human history people deved most of their daily lives to growing, harvesting, preparing, hunting meals, and for millions in the third world they still do.
if we mindlessly weeks. the disconnection. we forget everything on their plate was once a live. in fact of the listen to my ker shermer he will tell you u are related to everything oyour plate even the things in the fallable so you don't want to miss him talkingbout darwin later this aftnoon. my message is this, you can take your cue from the french. you can enjoy the company and savor the meal and if you really don't have time for that, all i can say is don't forget to buckle up. so, eating, something that is a spiritual connection that we sometimes fail to think about. now, let me talk about another subject shich is close to spirituality and that the subject of giving. most of us at some point in their lives even if we have been successful in business, success the one investing we start to think more seriously about giving. it is not just about putting a check. we want t be a thoughtful, perhaps even a systematic giver,
and that raises a lot of questions, who do you get your moneyo come w you give it, why do you give it, how much did you give? tw of my favorite nonprofits are the cato institute, which is here, george will calls qada of the four most offenders of freedom in the country, the foremost defenders of freedom. i think that is a mission to be admired, contribed to. i also give money to the international rescue committee, a great organization founded by albert einstein. e irc is there with food, water and medicine and health care and education and great private group that do a wonderful job. if your interested in learning more you can phys-ed irc doc borgen barn morabout their mission but getting back to the question what is the right please he give and again i am not the one that has all of the answers. there has been wonderful things written about the art of
philanthropy, and one person who wrote a whole coded giving was moses by hannitys ellipsed back in the middle ages and he said ere were eight grades of charity and i will tell you what they are. number one to give reluctantly, to to give cheerfully but not adequately, three, to give cheeully inadequately but only after being asked. for coming to ve cheerfully, adequately and of youwn free will but to put it in the recipients hand in such a way as to make him feel lesser. fee, to let the recipient know who the donor is but not the reverse. six come to kwho is receiving your charity but remain anonymous to him. 72 have needy donor nor the recipient be aware of the other side kennedy and eightto dispense with charity altogether by enabling your fellow humans to have the wherewithal to earn their own living. so that sort of come and give
a man a fish and eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will siin a boat and drink beer all day. you are the the original test not. one thing ie learned about giving in theast few years, when i was a young man just out of college i used to go to an accountant to get my taxes then because i still can't figure out all the schedules andhe woman would ask me, do you want to make a 2,000-dollar ira contribution? that was a limit that the te and also to thousand dollars seems like all the money in the world. i was not going to crifice $2,000 for retirement, something that would happen-- so i would always say no and when they had figured o there is a company by the name of american-- in the 20th century and they have no minimum policy for their i.r.a.'s so i divided 2000 by 12 and it turned out i was $166.66 a month so i do league payson
dot that amounts and then i had to draft my checking account every month thereafter so it was done automatically and i would have a 2,000-dollar contribution at the end of the year. i basicly for about about this because relatively insignificant sum of money and i was watching my 401(k) in my attention mu more closely but ashe yrs went by and as the market kept going up i was astounded to find that this $166 a month had turned into a six-figure fund in my i.r.a.. what i am trying to dis the rivers, which is it is harfor alvis to write a check even if th is to a worthy cause but like the irc for instance will draft your credit cd, and the can to your bank accnt, but you get the tax deduction and the mile and yououldave ever been-- the money taken out and you and that givinmore and it is less payments. i think that however we given i
certaiy can't lecture anyone abt how much to give to or who to give to but the important thing is not so we feel noble sentiments. what is important is whate do and what i've learned, what y may not always have happen is is always possible to give it in charitable giving is a part of living in a meaningful life. i have got more than at of my book but wanted to touch on that subject briefly. people have often said it seems like lon road between giving investme advice and talking about spiritual values but there is one ferry the commonality that i have found in that is that of principles. for instance when ipeak at an investment conference i know most of the attendees there want to kw what is in store near term for the stock market, the bond market in interest rates and currencies and so rtand i hate to disappointhem but i tell them anyway. i don't know and neither does anyone else andhat is not important fortunately because investment success does not come from followi the right
predictions. it comes from folwing the right principles. this is what my last book was about for quite try to show people withour portfolio was worth $10,000 or $10 million, what we are worth many years from now depends on the money to invest, the length of time lead compound, what your asset allocation is, at the annual compound return, what you pay and expenses and wt you pay in taxes. if you get theight y are way ahead. the principles of investing are we-known, by quality, asset allocator, minimize expenses and taxes and if you are light years ahead of everyone else but most investors to kee d those simple things. this is true in virtually every aspect of life. imagina bridge or tunnel or a skyscraper that is built without using proven principles of design and construction are building materials. if you are a classical composer,
you are free to create beautiful music but only within the strictures of harmony, melody and rhythm. few of us can bear to listen to an atonal masterpiece. if you want to be great golfer, you are not going to reinvent the called sling. he will use this griffin stanton keep your head down, your left arm straight if you are going to succeed. people were whacking golf balls around st. andrews before columbus discovered america. principles are essentially the collective wisdom of our entire species. we have principles of laws, the principles of health about nutrition and exercise to help us live longer. we of scientific principles that helped discover the nature of the world and we have spiritual prinples that guide their lives, or shoul when people hear write a cumn called spiritual wealth they often said what religious you e you trying to promote but i'm not trying to promote religious thinking and certainly
not trying to promote non-religious thinking. i am just trying to promote thinng and what i think people should consider is the core principles underlying all of the world's great rigions as well as the great second philosophies from confucious in the east, aristotle in the west. what are those principles? we can all take theoff, honesty, compassion, tolerance, justice, perseverance, humility, charity, gratitude and human beings are meaning seeking creatures. ife don't find meaning we quickly falleno despair and it that there's an epidemic of depression that evolves from a lack of meeting. before you think will be joining tom cruise for an afternoon in la la land, let me clarify myself. there rtain people that can-- and their people who suffe from what is called a reaive pression, if they a been laid off or lost a loved one, they
can fall into a re depression. but there are millions of americans who suffer from a lack of meaning i their lives. they don't know what they are living for and despite the blandishments of popular culttre it is not happen is that most people see, is a life of meaning so in some sense we a all spiritual seekers. you may tnk, you may revere the ten commandments or the rmon on the amounts, or the four noble truth of budhism or the five pillars of islam but, what were some infrangible said the principles, but we are all spiritl seekers and to give you an idea, david foster wallace at a commencement address said tse words. anything you worip will certainly eat you alive. if you wish of moy and things, if they are what you tap were many like then you will never have enough. worship your own body and beauty
and sexual allure and he will always feel ugly and when time inight starts shgwing you will die a million deaths before the plan you. worship tower, you will feel we can afraid and you will need ever more pow over others to keep the fear at bay. worship your intellect being seen as smart, you'll end up feeling a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. on some level most of us understand this. is codified in our myths proverbs and are classic novels and ere great films. and yet society and culture are tugging us the other way and we have a wonderful capitalisti system that provides as with everything we need but it also taunts us. it is telling us what we could have, how we could look, how we will feel when we acquired the latest, greatest and most fabulous bobble head and did i mention it is new and improved? what i am saying is, the modern economy does a wonderful job of
meeting their needs but it's we lose our way, fortunately the great spiritual principles are always there, like pooler is showing the wayo the north and it may not be glamours but it is true and 150 years ago r waldo emerson and his essay on self-reliancwith these words. no one can bringou peace but yourself. nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles. so, tohe extent that we have, we are living a principled centered life weend to be satisfied with their lives into the extent were not we tend to lack meaning. if you need some help i did quote a short prayer in my book help you along away from john maxwell. it says dear lord, so far today i am doing all right. i have not gossiped lost my temper or been nasty, selfish or self indulgent. however, i am going to get out
of bed in a few minutes. [laughter] and i will need a lot more help after that, amen. what i am getting at is i think what a lot of us lack is sense of gratitude, and actually i'm going to say a f words and then open the floor to questions and comments because i know some of you may have things you want to at our challengand that is fine. i said earlier on i was going to make you feel wealthier than the porbl winner and one of the ways that will do that, one of the things i'm going to tell you, this is a quote from oxford biologt richard dawkins in his book and weaving a rainbow. he says we are going to die and thatixes the lucky ones. most people are never going to die beuse they are never going to be born. the potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day out number the same greensf the sahara.
>> those unborn ghost include greater poets in ets, scientists greater than newton. know this because the set of possible people allowed by our dna, so massively up numbers the set of actual people. in the teeth of the stupefying d it is you and i inner ordinarindss fettehears otis an interesting perspective to think theast majority people are unborn. but, the writer bill bryson, who i detest, because he is so good, he has a different perspective on it. i had it noted here in my book but i am going to have to it up. i ha had people who read the ok comment. i hate bill bryn. all greater should. if you don't know why read evything is written. people s i thought you thought
he was good. i should say read everything he hasritten twice and that would have made it clear. there is nothing like highlightingour own book unflagging it. i have quoted him so many times i have to look uwhich coa- quote i have used. page 167. that is going to be the winner. worth waitingor i assure you. until bryson book, a brief history of nearly everything, he takes a different perspective on this. he says you have been extremely, made that miraculouyortunate in your personal ancestry.
consider the fact that for 3.8 billion years, the period of time older than the rivers and eans every one of your forebears on both sides have beenttractive enough to find a mate healthy enough to reproduce and sufficiently blessed by circumstances to live lg enough to do so. not one of yo permanent ancestors was squashed, devoured, drowned, starved, stranded, stack fat, wounded or otherwise deflected from its life's quest of delivering a charge of genetic material to the right partner athe rig moment nor to perpetuate the only possible sequence of hereditary combinations that could result eventually, astounngly and all tooriefly in you. interesting and i just hope that for a ditch this mortal quote i will write one paragraph that good. there is another thing you have done right did you probably have not recognized or don't take the time to appreciate the size the
astronomical odds of you even being here, inhaling and exhaling you have the extreme good fortune of beg born in the modern era. your ancestors for generations removed wh it ben astonished your advantages. the unlited food at affordable prices, measles, polio and rickets and sllpox eracated, the end of backbreaking toil for most flavors and we forget even 150 years ago for julia could but he was in farming, forestry or some type of backbreaking work. have instanteous global communication. we take all of this for granted but remember to the vast majori of human history nothing, neither news nor people come travel faster than a course and as f as our ancestors knew nothing ever would and yet you can be on t other coast in a few hours. weave mass homeownerip with every type of convenience, heat, air and microwaves and
dishwashers and so forth. the greatest human accomplishment of all times is taken place in the last century. do you realize in 1900 the average american live to the ripe old age of 41? rt of that is due to the high incidence of death at birth, the high infant mortaty rate but still. why do we live so much longer? because of incredible of dances and technology. bleed complain about the cost of health care but looat the quality. if you want to lose yourself that things were so much better back in the good old days, i have one word for you, dentistry. imagine a root canal ithe 1800's. living standards for the highs they had never been not churched for their rich amid a class but also for the poor. in 1890 and less than 1% of american households earn the equivalent of $,000. today more than a quarter of them to.
formal disimination against women and minorities has ended which of course it's been the norm throughout history and we enjoy freedoms today, denied to millions aroundhe world throughout history, political freedom, economic freedoms, religious freedoms, personal freedoms. yes we are all here because the federa government has bome a sprawling metastasizing leviathan that needs to be beat back with a stick in we need to speak our minds and organize and vo their own particular bums out of office but still the government we live under compared to what most governments have been in most places the cerat time we should be extremely think we are living in the united states. what i am saying is it you want to start feeling wealthier, perhaps the fst thing you need to do is develop a more acute see of gratitude. aristotle called gratitude the greatest virtue and the first
and i think it means two things for god means no. one having an precon for the life you were given in number two making a practice of lookingt what is right in your life rather than what is missing. gratitudmakes ygu feel like you have enough. in gratitude leads to the state of constant deprivation. cytolysis tell us it is impossible to feel on happy and grateful at the same te. even in this topic phisophers told us ways we could feel more grateful, something they suggested was a form of-the annualization. spend a few mines day visionless you don't have them. lot ofmericans are going through tough times but eveif you've lost your job and, imagine losing your house. if you've lost your use imagine losing your possessions. if you have lost your possesons imagine losing the ople you love. if you've lost the people you love, imagine losing your help. ifou lost your health, imagine
losing your life. in short posit visualization helps us get what we want an negative fictionalization-- whoppi get so i tnk in the end perhaps the best spiritual advir is the simplest and that is pay attention, see or rather cherished, church would youave before it is gone. thank you vy much. [applause] i do have a few minutes for questions if you would like to step up to the microphones. if you have any questions you uld like to ask and i will be spending a few minutes in the back signg my book you are interested. have i been amazingly pharoah? we have someone. if anybody has a qstion they want to shout out, i can repeat it ep here.
>> height alex. i was wondering dimension philosophers have proved it can be grateful and feel unhappy at the same time, and i'm paraphrasing but you sai something like that. i was wondering if you can go into more depth about that, talk about specific philosophers or maybe the ideas behind that becae it seems off the top of my head i feel like i could be ungrateful about not getting a fellowship but happy about being with my friends are something like that, so i was born in nicki guddat elaborator little. >> it is the old is the glass half full or is the glass half-empty? i could stand up here and i could talk about the specter of nuclear proliration, or terrorism or the fact th our troops are bogged down overseas, or i wento the litany of what is wrong with the economy and we all have personal situations in
our lives that are not good and i'm not suggesting any one to ignore the things. i am just saying toha extent the focus on what is right with their lives instead of what is wrong, we can feel like we are living in a more meaningful life. it is easy to get bogged down. everything can be going right in our lives but if there's a cole in our shoe that is what it says is us. i think this is part of human psychology to focus on what is wrong and are advance our specie by realizing we are dissatisfied in moving fward from there so people often spend their time thinking about the problem, mulling over what they don't have a set of taking the time to appreciate what they do and it is a practice you have to get into. what if i did live in a free country, what if i was unhealthy, what is the last time i kissed my childrenas the last time i kissed my children. it is just play a matter of perspective. a lot of the ideas i mentioned
in this book-- this is not a how-to book. i don't give advice about how to live your life. it is more ideas than of resonated with me and the feedback on how to live a richer more meaningful life and i think one of those ways is toe filled with a sense of gratitude. go ahead. >> thank you so much. it is a very nice book. i have one little comment to share with you. yes, gratitude is the attitude of the attitude. thank you. >> okay, thank you. [applause] >> i cnotepeat exactly what she said that something similar that zieglar used to say and that is your attitu not directed to that determines your altitude so very similar to what she said. >> iave a question. in one of your recent columns you talked about having moved to a new place and left pretty much
everything behind and how that made you contemplatehe relative importae of things and possessions and-- do you want to eborate on that little bit? >> i wou to say i recently moved from orlanda to charlottesville and ts is something that my wife and i dreamed about taking their family movijg towards the mountains in virginia. we got ted of the heat and humidity in florida and being a writer i can live forever what. we went to charlottesville and i bumped into a woman a few months after live there and she goes, so your work brought you to charlottesville? i said no. you have family here? i said no. >> you of the friends in charlottesville? she said, who did you know before you moved here? i said no one. from the look her face she look like you just identified someone from the witness protection program. it is that tons of culture and fabrice restaurants and it is at the foot of the blue ridge
mountains. it is a fabulous place but what i wrote the column about the civically was because we were not sure if we are going to stay in charlottesville a not rather than selling our house we had left our house in florida with all of o things and rented a furnished house in charlottesville and after we had been there for several months, it is amazing all the stuff that you have i your house that you feel likeou can do without, do you hav't been able to give away or to sell at a yard sale and is filling your garage, your attic and your guest bedroom. it is fuy how we can attach to these things without realizing they serve no purpose so it wasn't eye-opening experience to move to a new house, not have that stuffnd realize we did not miss it one bit so that was a bit of an awakening. go ahead. >> thank you alex. after listening to the lectures for the last year-and-a-half, it felt like the world was coming to an end and after listening to
you i already feel much bter. thank you. [applause] >> thanks. >> i apprecie those comments and i have to say i am a libertarian at heart. i think it is a sad thing our country was founded on having a government that protects our rights and force contracts in the lawson defends its shores and in a sense has mutated in grown and become this metastasizing leviathan and. bu even david bos of the cato institute says we should stop and reflect all the freedoms that we have achieved and i realize as much as we detest the fact the government has grown and involved in every aspect, still in the great scheme of things, we are so fortunate to be living in such a prosperous country, such a free country at this ment in history and if you read thgs that are constantly negative d are complaing you will find
yourself walking around with a frown, looking at t ground. i wrote a column a few weeks ago about the fact that i was at the grand canyon a couple of years ago with a friend and there was a hawk circling just above us. i said just imagine that you mustave up there. my friend said, to bet he does not see it? i said what you mean? >> his eyesre focused like a laser on a mouse or a snake or a jackrabbit they can provide his next meal. he is the most fabulous in the world that he death not see. it made mrealize a lot of us e the same w. we walk around thinking about the deal, the contract and gettg the kids to where they need to go and we are blind to the mnificent vistas that surrounds the so it is worthwhile to take the time to stop and think about how actually fortunate ge are a of course, the media brings as the world through highly distorted las.
the media can't tell us about the planes that don't crash, the buildings that don'turn or the companies that are hiring so we get a distorted view of what is happening and is only when you take the time to count your blessings that to start to realize that everyone of us is a powerball winner. the fact we are standing here right now, u are one of the most fornate people, and gre easterbrook says when you wk into a gas station or a mini-mart you can buy a better bottle of wine then the king of france drank years ago. we take so much of the world for granted that we don't stop to appreciate what we have some time so i think it is worthwhile to think about the bright side. my book is filled entirely with thoughts that i have fou inspiring, uplifting or no bling. i meant it as an added the to the depressing news we hear in the newspaper eve day so i hope you te the time to read it and if you do i hope you enjoy it. so, thank you so much.
[applause] >> alexander greens the investment director of the oxford club and anitere spiritual wealth. he is the author of the gone fishin portfolio, get wise, get wealthy and get on with your life. this talk was part of freedomfest 2009. to find that more visit >> the booktv bus is traveled the country visiting bookstores, libraries, festivals and authors. here are some of the people and places we visited. >> we are here with andrew chaikin thought there of "a passion for mars." why did you spend four years of your life writing a book about mars? >> i have to say i felt compelled. mars has meant a humongous amount to me since i was a small child and that fell in love with the planets and with astronomy.
when i g bigger and some of the expiration of mars unfolding with the unmanned probes in the 1960's and 1970's i was completely cut on planet tori-- planetary exploration. i grew up in studied planetary science fore i became a journalist and then i covered mars missions as a journalist throughout the '80s and '90s. that when i was in college i to part in viking one as a student intern. this book is much more personal than anything i have done. it is much more personal than a man on the moon was in the sense that and no in my journey and the people i've encountered alg the way who been the real movers and shakers in the lars exploration and have been passionate and really, it is just like steve squires to lead the signs team on the rover mission id timmy that passion
got those rovers to mars as much as anything and i found that that is really the driving force as much as anything, as much as rockets. it is passion in curiosity. >> do you discuss the role he plays in the book? >> absolutely, i started out in the beginning of the age when scientists were just beginning to think about exploring mars with the unmanned probes and i go all the way through the early missions and then, and conclude with the rovers and there for ar and counting odyssey on mars, and they are amazing dioveries that both the other evidence that mars was once a very wet and probably habitable for life place, and i continued with the speculation about when we might see humansville to mars which of course has been a great grand dream of advocates for decades, and one clue as to where i come out on that
estion is the title of the chapter i call tomorrow land. soden still a dream we haven't reached. >> what a been the challenges that the u.s. is based in exploring mars? >> mars is a very tough place to explore. for one thing it is very far away. never comes closer than 35 million miles so it is a tremendous effort just to get the spacecraft there. getting down on to the surface is a tremendous challenge. moses spacecraft that the u. and the soviets and then even the british have tried to land on marzette failed. only a small fraction have succeeded. even the ones that have orbited mars have found that mars is a planet that is almost trying to hide its secrets from us. everytime we have looked at mars more closelye have found a rld that we did not anticipate and that is one of the neat
things about this story, again and again yo see people coming up against the ambiguity of mars and we don't like ambiguity as the culture. we want things to be black and white in mars is always telling us not so fast, we don't have it all figured out yet. >> do you think we will actually get to mars anytime soon? >> well, let's see. i am 52 and i am hoping that i live long enough to see it. back in the mid-1950s, couple of years before i was born, on browne writing in the magazine, who looked ahead to. when people might going to space, when they might g to the moon and eventuallto mars. of course it was the vision that inspired the early that program and in 1954 he said he may be a century or more before we are ready to send people to mars. i think that may turn out to be just about right, so i'm hoping
i will last until the middle of the 21st century so i can sea that happen. >> what you think is the importance of even getting that? >> well, marzette think is monumental to the importance to us on many levels. scieifically, it may turn out to be the first place we have explored that either have life in the pastore may still have microbial life, which would be a huge, just monumental discovery. second of all, just the difficulty of going to mars, and this is something i'm very passionate about myself, exploration is difficult and it brings out the best in us through its difficulty. that was something john kennedy said when he launched apollo come that when we go to the moon not because they are easy but because they are hard. we, car- mars is that much harder than the men. finally, i think that mars is
potentially a second home for humanity. a lot of people's said thisn great detail, better than i. but i think mars is out there as a lawyer for human ingenuity and hun drive to explore. it is one of the most basic things we do is human beings and ihink when the day comes, when we can look up in the night sky and see that right, reddish.and say, people are living in working there, that is going to be aamazing moment. >> that was andrew chaikin author of the new book "a passion for mars." thank you so much. >> thank you. >> for more information abo the booktv bus, visit our web site atooktorg/booktv bus.
>> da capo press is one of the imprints of the purse is the books group and lissa warren is the vice president at da capo press. ms. warren waters some of the titles coming from your inprhnt? >> we have a wonderful biography james monroe by washington d harlan under and is called "the last founding father" because he truly was one of the last founding fathers. >> why another bioon james monroe? >> this is one that is more compte berganio information has been found drooled archives and letters and records, and we are findinthat there's still a lot of patriotic interest out there so we want to be able to continue to feed that market.
>> what elsea, at? >> we have aonderful biography of amelia earhart and there is something of a movie tie-in with hillary swank and richard gear that will be coming out this fall and we will be bringing the book got to coincide with that. >> how old is the book? >> seval years old, at least a decade but we are giving it a new cover and rolling it back out there. >> phyllis dominic lapierre? >> he is a well-known author who has a historyf "new york times" bestsellers behind him in the book were doing this fall is called the rainbow in the night about south africa. it covers the whole apartheid period and all the turmoil that that country went throu to be the nation is today. >> wha kind of books to look for at da capo? >> we published non-fiction primarily. one of our missions is to make sure our books that into our core areas where we know we will find success for readers. it is a lot of general history a little politics andts little current even and a lot of pop culture to mix it up a bit, and
music history because speaking of pop culture of what is this book? >> this is a book called could buy 20 a century. it was favorably reviewed in hardcor in just brought out in paperback. >> what is the the bout? >> it is about to abandon the ole grunge music movement. >> lissa warren is vice president of da capo press. >> coming up next, booktv presents lissa warren an hour-long interview program where we invite guest host to interview the author of a new book. this week peter carlson recalls inexplable too weak to work the united states by soviet premier nikita khrhchev amid the tensionof the cold war in 1959 in his n book, "k blow top." mr. carlson remarks and the humor isusings of the soviet premier as it traveled across the country. his meetings with american celebrities including marilyn
monroe and elizabeth taylor, as interest in american supermarkets and is angryeing denied a visit to disneyland. peter carlson discusses his book with sergei khrushchev, the son of nikita khrushchev and a senior fellow at the watson institute for international studies at browne university. >> host: hello, now we will discuss the book of peter carlson, it was a "washington post" reporter for 22 years and the author of this very interesting book, "k blows top." and, i will interview him. even before en he wrote this book, he interviewed me, so this book is some way @bout me and now i will ask him. i found that his book is v